If anyone asks me what the best farming venture is in Zimbabwe some things come to mind. Right off the top of my head, I will think of livestock farming and I will also think of horticulture. As for horticulture, vegetables are the perfect fit given how fast-moving they are. Plus there is a wide range of them so you are spoilt for choice. One of them, in particular, is tomatoes – a daily necessity for every family. There are huge prospects in tomato farming; I highly recommend it. In this article, I look at the different types of tomatoes grown in Zimbabwe.
This is an indeterminate variety with impeccable resistance against viruses and bacteria. They have high and uniform truss settings. They have an exceptional yield potential. They can maintain a uniform size to the top. Long shelf life and perfect balance are some of their notable characteristics. They take between 80 and 85 days to mature. The plant is strong, has vigour and tends to exhibit open growth behaviour. The fruits have thick walls and can weigh between 140 and 160 grams. This is a very popular variety most sought after by many these days. They can be propagated on open fields or under greenhouses, by trellising.
There are numerous varieties under this category. They are STAR 9006, 9008, 9009, 9011, 9030, 9037, 9063, 9065, 9068, 9081, and 9082. Differences stem mostly from being either determinate or indeterminate. Here are just two examples:
This is a strong determinate variety with a concentrated bearing period. They mature after 75 to 80 days and have a long shelf life. They can set fruits under cool conditions. They are suited for open fields either trellised or not.
It is a determinate, vigorous disease-resistant plant type. They have exceptional flavour, taste and large fruits with a long shelf life. Maturity takes between 80 and 85 days with fruits weighing between 150 and 170 grams.
This is a very popular variety in Zimbabwe. It matures mild early and is also well suited for processing. The plant type is determinate and has a strong heavy cover. The fruit is pear-shaped, weighing an average of 60 grams.
This is a determinate, vigorous plant type. They have a long shelf life; the fruits produced are bright red and uniform. Maturity takes about 80 days; the average fruit weight is 200 grams.
This variety produces uniform fruit and yields heavily. They are very sweet and rich in Vitamin C. They take 65 days to mature and are cherry shaped. The average fruit weight is 15 grams; this is an indeterminate plant type by the way.
This is a determinate round plant type. Maturity takes 90 days and the fruit shape is round to oblate. The average fruit size is 130 grams.
They are typically for the fresh market. Their fruit is quite firm. They have a 12-day long shelf life. They are a determinate type of tomato, for the open field. It takes them about 80 days to mature. Their shape is round and the average fruit size is 150 grams.
The fruits grow as concentrated sets; fruits are firm. Trellis; strong plant. They take about 75 days to reach maturity. It is a strong plant that offers great protection and support for the fruits. It is recommended to stack or support them. The tomato shape is a firm round; weighing an average of 200 grams.
This variety has a long shelf life, with great firmness and taste. They can be harvest in phases, right from colour-turning stages to full maturity. Plant type is indeterminate, has strong vigour and cover; maturity is early. The fruits are slightly oblate in shape weighing between 120 and 160 grams.
This is an indeterminate plant producing bright red round tomatoes. They are typically 5 centimetres in length.
This is a determinate type, open field; for the fresh market. These are trellis, strong plants. Firm fruits and grow as concentrated sets. Maturity takes about 75 days; the tomatoes are round and firm. The average fruit weight is at least 200 grams.
This is a dual-purpose variety. It has good resistance to Bacterial Speck. There is also good fruit setting even under harsh conditions. The maturation period is mild early. Their shape is blocky to slightly round; the average weight is 120 grams.
This is a vigorous plant with considerable earliness. The fruits produced are firm, smooth, and uniform. This variety thrives well under most growing conditions. They are elongated blocky in shape with a size of 60 by 25 centimetres. The average weight of one tomato is 10 grams.
These are trellis, strong plants. They are determinate for the open field; fresh market. They are characterised by high yields and great cover for the fruits. Maturity takes 75 to 80 days with the fruit shape being firm round. The average fruit size is 200 grams.
These are not all of the available tomato varieties in Zimbabwe; they are several more. I just highlighted some of the common varieties for your consideration. Two notable brands behind tomato seeds in Zimbabwe are Seed Co and Starke Ayres. There are of course several more brands you can consider.
Just to differentiate, determinate types are tomatoes that usually grow to reach a fixed size at maturity. Their fruits also tend to ripen uniformly often in short periods. They are short and usually look bushier due to leaves being close together. Indeterminate types have leaves that are spread out. The plants grow quite tall, sort of like what vines look like. Visually, that is how you can figure out which is determinate or indeterminate. Hopefully, this article has helped lay out for you some of the tomato varieties in Zimbabwe.